The condition of the Railway Cottages Traveller site on the Clonmel by-pass has been blasted as 'absolutely disgraceful' by public representatives who told Clonmel Borough Council officials that the condition of the site could no longer be tolerated.
Members of the Council again highlighted their concerns about the state of the overcrowded site and demanded that something be done about it. They registered their frustration at the lack of progress at the site despite the expenditure of monies and called on officials to take action.
The meeting was told again that wheelchair users have to get off the footpath outside the site and go out onto the main Waterford-Limerick road because of the presence of loads of timber, animals, jeeps and cars. The meeting was told that people were unable to walk past the site and that people living nearby were outraged over the condition of the site.
"How much more finance is the council going to waste on the Railway Cottages. It's an absolute disgrace," said Cllr. Darren Ryan.
Cllr. Ryan said the condition of the site was horrendous and said if any other resident in the town allowed their premises to fall into such a state they would be brought before the courts immediately.
He said it was disgraceful that wheelchair users had to get off the public footpath and move out onto the public road to get past the site.
Cllr. Denis Dunne said the site was now worse than ever and had to be sorted out. E25,000 had been spent on a wall down there and no improvement had taken place.
"There is loads of timber dumped outside the gate now. People coming into town every day see this mess, it's unbelievable and something has to be done about it," he said.
"It's a terrible joint, we have to do something about it," said Cllr. Joe Leahy.
Cllr. Leahy said it was a miracle that Clonmel did so well in the Tidy Towns given the condition of that prominent site.
Mayor Siobhan Ambrose said that people living close by were being caused significant stress as a result of living close to the site.
"Money is being thrown into the site and people cannot walk past it on the public footpath, it's very dangerous. It's coming to a head and it has to be addressed" she said.
Town Engineer Johnathan Cooney said that the Council could not do it on its own and that there were a number of different agencies involved.
He said it was an on-going issue that was not easy to resolve.
"Now we are back to square one with it," he told the meeting.
The engineer said they would have to persist with it but that there was no magic solution. Some families might want to move out but that it was not easy to find them alternative sites.
Cllr. Ryan said the Council should make some effort to bill the residents for clean up operations at the site.
The town enginer said whenever materials are removed from the site there was always an issue of ownership involved which complicated matters.
"There is an issue of who owns what and it's impossible to pin it on one family," he said.
Town Manager Billy McEvoysaid it was a very difficult situation. He said a concerted effort would be made by the Council to improve matters at the site over the coming months.
"We cannot go in and bulldoze through it,.We have to try and solve it," he said,